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    People Are Sharing Their Near-Death Experiences, And I'm Sweating Just Reading Them

    "Right after I gave birth to my son, I told the doctors that something wasn't right."

    Note: This post contains mention of child abuse. 

    Have you ever been stuck in a scary situation, only to look back on it later and think, Wow, that could have been a lot worse! Well for a lot of people who lived to tell the tale, our "worse" is their reality.

    Recently, Reddit user u/Rapid_falls263 asked, "What was the closest you have ever been to death?" Here are some of the most chilling responses:

    1. "I slipped on a steep hill with 100 pounds of cable around my neck and chest. One end got caught between some rocks and the cable started tightening around me while I was sliding down the hill into a river ravine. I couldn't grab onto anything and saw the edge of the cliff coming up quick. Fortunately, the cable stopped tightening before it got to my throat, and that ended up saving me from going off the cliff."


    2. "I was in my late teens heading to school by train. I was feeling like shit that morning and even puked halfway to the train but shrugged it off. As I was standing on the platform, waiting for the train, I was hoping it'd get better once I sat down on the train. A couple of minutes later when the train arrived, I waited until it had stopped and began walking toward it. I blink, and I'm suddenly on my back on the platform with a circle of people around me and a police officer asking me if I can tell her what weekday it is. It turns out I had fainted walking toward the train and fell down on the track behind it. A passerby pulled me back up on the platform. Had I positioned myself near the tracks a few seconds earlier like I normally do, I would've fallen in front of the train. Instead, I got a mild concussion and a scar on my chin from the fall."

    A rear view of a woman standing at a railroad station

    3. "I was in a car accident on the freeway when I was 12. My mom popped a tire, lost control of the vehicle, and ended up spinning around to a dead stop facing oncoming traffic. A giant trailer was headed right for us. We got so lucky that he saw the whole thing unfold so he had already slowed down and was able to stop."


    4. "I managed to get Legionnaires' disease a couple of years ago, which has a 25% fatality rate, even with treatment. I spent one week in the hospital and one week sleeping at home. I couldn't eat for most of the time because the bacteria was in my left lung and stomach. I also didn't find out what it was until a week or two later when the Health Department called me with questions. Up until then, I was only told that it was pneumonia."


    5. "I had a seizure in the shower, smashed my head into the faucet, then fell and landed face down. I was turning blue and had a 4-inch gash on my head when my boyfriend found me with the cat, who was soaking wet because he jumped into the tub. It took about four minutes of CPR. I do not shower with the bathroom door closed now, and I do not shower if someone isn't at the apartment with me."

    A stock image of water draining into a shower drain

    6. "My appendix ruptured while I was lying in a hospital bed trying to convince the doctors that I really was in pain. They assumed that I was pregnant and just lying about it. They took blood, pee, and did a pelvic exam, which made me throw up because it hurt so bad to move my torso, let alone put my feet up in stirrups. All of the tests were negative, but they still didn't believe me when I said that I wasn't even sexually active at the time. Anyway, I have a very hazy memory of talking to my mom and telling her that it was OK, that soon, it wouldn't hurt anymore and I was just going to sleep for a bit. She flipped and happened to work at that hospital, so she got them to do an ultrasound to find this phantom pregnancy. One terrified look from a tech later, I was booked for surgery and finally got a morphine drip after almost 14 hours in the ER."


    7. "I ran a red left turn arrow right in front of a Chevy 2500 doing close to 60 mph. I was already stopped at the light and had been waiting for it to turn green. It was later in the day, and the sun was positioned directly behind the light. Sixteen-year-old me looked up and said, 'Yeah, that's probably green.' No, no it wasn't. Anyway, I got T-boned right where the front and rear doors meet on the passenger side. The part of the frame that separates the doors got pushed all the way to the center console, which I smacked my head against. I just remember waking up in a daze with a lot of blood on the right side of my face. Fast-forward through the call to Mom and the ambulance ride, the doctors showed me a scan and said several fragments of my skull were a piece of paper thickness away from entering my brain. The best (worst) part is that I was supposed to be taking my sister with me. She was taking her sweet time at home, so I had left without her."

    A stock image of a stop light on red, with a sign beside it that reads "No turn on red"

    8. "I was working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier during flight ops when I felt someone behind me tugging on my coat trying to get my attention. When I turned around, it wasn’t a person tugging on me; it was the intake of an F-14 trying to pull me inside for a closer look at the afterlife. Cool job, though."

    A stock image of the canopy of an F-14 plane

    9. "I had pneumonia, and I didn't realize how serious it was until the doctors tried three strong antibiotics, and the infection kept growing, and fluid was building up on my lung. They openly told me that they didn't know why the infection was growing, only that it was resistant to all three antibiotics they tried. They put me on two IVs for four days, but the infection was not going away. It was getting harder to breathe, and laying on my back was impossible because of all the pain in my right lung. Eventually, the infection started shrinking on its own, but it was so scary!"


    10. "A while ago, I somehow picked up a UTI on a ski trip. But this was no ordinary bug people usually get, like E. coli or C. diff. No no, I picked up some super strain of Pseudomonas that was at once ridiculously aggressive and resistant to all common antibiotics. I spent two days spent with a 104-degree fever while they ran the lab work to find anything that would work. I legit thought that I was gonna die because of this bullshit."


    11. "I had neurosurgery in 2015. While I was in the recovery room, in an effort to control my pain as I woke up, the staff (doctor or nurse, I don’t know) accidentally gave me an overdose of narcotics. They lost all my vital signs and had a difficult time bringing me back. When I woke up, I was in torturous pain, and I asked why. I was told that I had an allergic reaction to narcotics and would be given only Tylenol for the duration of my recovery. I am definitely not allergic to narcotics, by the way, but I am legitimately allergic to codeine, so I couldn’t even take that. During my hospital stay, I was in so much pain that I was hallucinating, and sometimes I lost consciousness from the pain. Later, I found out the truth."

    A stock image of a patient lying in a hospital bed

    12. "I fell two stories off of my roof onto concrete a few years back. I broke my knee and my wrist. Luckily, that was it. If I’d fallen on my head, it would have been game over."


    13. "I almost stepped on a Mojave rattlesnake, one of the deadliest snakes in America, when we were miles from civilization and nowhere near a road. I was a child at the time, and it was before everyone carried cellphones, so if I'd been bitten, I would have been in serious trouble. The snake was nestled in some big rocks that made a little hole in the ground. I was going to step in there because it looked cool, but right before I did, I had a sixth sense sort of feeling that I shouldn't. I trusted my gut and really examined the area in front of me. It took me a while, but I eventually spotted a little baby Mojave rattler right where I was going to step. It was one of the few times that I've experienced my instincts protect me like that. It was kind of cool actually; it almost feels like a superpower when it happens."

    A stock image of a Mojave Rattlesnake coiled to strike

    14. "I had a large DVT (blood clot) in my leg and had been getting pulmonary embolisms, which are blood clots in the lungs, for months without knowing about either. I had a COVID-19 infection that caused blood-clotting issues. I went roughly seven or eight months with a clot growing in my leg, and pieces breaking off and hitting my lungs before I was diagnosed with the damn things in November 2020, when I found out that I have a blood-clotting gene disorder. At least I found out before it managed to kill me. The ER doctor that told me that I had the blood clot in my leg told me that I was damn lucky, my primary care doctor apologized to me for 'missing it' after I had COVID, and my hematologist told me that I should be dead."

    "My vascular surgeon told me that even with being on a blood thinner the rest of my life now, a clot will probably be what kills me in the end. I had no idea that I am Factor V heterozygous. They do not normally test for this disorder, and I thought the pain in my knee was a slightly torn meniscus since I had been building a shed, running, and weight lifting. I had no signs of a DVT, no swelling, heat, or discoloration. I took myself to the ER after getting on the floor to play with our dog and thinking that I had torn a muscle. Two days later, I couldn't walk without crying because it hurt so badly."


    15. "I was in Iraq, and I thought I was just 'backed up' from the fortified peanut butter. When it got worse, I went to the medic, and the next thing I know, they were flying me to Kuwait. I fucked up real bad and caught some crazy parasite from eating ice off the local economy. The doctor said that I would have died if that medic hadn’t gotten me out of dodge. Mortar fire and small arms fire on a daily basis and I almost get taken out by a parasite eating a hole in my colon."


    16. "One time in high school, a friend and I got ahold of a can of Glade air freshener. Having heard that aerosol can get one high, we decided to huff it, which was a grave mistake. We had no experience huffing anything before, so we didn't know how much was 'enough.' I had my couple of rips off the can, covered with a washcloth to filter out the liquid. I sat down because I started to feel lightheaded, and I started to feel a sense of impending doom. A few seconds go by and the whole world, or perhaps my own consciousness, started flashing rapidly like a strobe light. I was pretty sure that I was about to die."

    "I passed out eventually and woke up in a pool of my own vomit after falling off of the couch and onto the floor. I couldn't move, and all I could do was groan in agony. My friend hadn't taken the amount that I had, and he was panicking while watching me, thinking that I was going to die. He did not call for an ambulance because he was afraid of what would happen. It took the better part of a half hour to recover enough to get back upright. I'm pretty sure if I had taken in just a bit more, I would have died right there."


    17. "I thought that I got roofied once. One beer got me drunk for six hours, and I got someone to drive me home from the bar. The next day, I had the worst headache that I've ever had, and I immediately threw up anything that I tried to drink, so I just slept all day. On day three, I got up to pee, fell down, and couldn’t get up. I crawled to the couch and called 911. The ambulance lady said that I had a temperature of 103 degrees and that I had E. coli in my blood. She said that if I had waited another 24 hours, I would have been dead. I only called 911 because my work said that I’d get fired without a doctor's note. Otherwise, I would have just gone to sleep on the couch. Also, I didn’t have pants on when I called 911, so I had no pants to go home in."

    A stock image of a parked ambulance with its back doors open

    18. "A new doctor saw me only once and put me on blood pressure medication. By the second day, I had to slide along the wall to walk. My sister took me to the ER, where the attending asked me, 'Why the hell are you on blood pressure medication? You’re bottoming out!'"


    19. "When I had my second child, it was a picture-perfect pregnancy despite the first being hell. He was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and everything was fine, until it wasn't. My child caught on some uterine scar tissue from my previous birth, which tore the placenta and caused me to hemorrhage. I lost so much blood so quickly that my heart stopped, and they were considering an emergency hysterectomy. Luckily, they were able to bring me back and save my uterus, but, from what I hear, it was a REALLY hairy situation. All I remember is being handed my baby and then waking up to him gone from the room and nurses cleaning up the blood. Then my husband told me what happened. My child and I ended up being fine, and he's 19 years old now."


    20. "I once went to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park, and I was in line for the second to last row. The roller coaster had two seats per row, and after it was my turn to go on, I originally decided to ride on the left seat. I have no idea why, but upon some impulse, I decided to go to the right seat instead. The attendant comes and pushes down all the safety bars, including the one in the left seat so that it wouldn't go flying everywhere. After the second significant downhill part of the roller coaster, I heard a loud click and looked next to me; the safety bar on the left seat had popped up and was now bobbing everywhere."

    A stock image of a rollercoaster as riders speed on the track

    21. "I learned that one of my coworkers was planning a mass shooting at my office, and the only reason that it didn’t happen was because a family member found out and intervened at the literal last moment."


    22. "When I was maybe 12 or 13, my sister (who was either 14 or 15 years old) and I were home alone draining spaghetti noodles, and I saw a huge wall of dirt coming toward my house. I didn't know what it was and just started hitting my sister, saying her name, and pointing. She grabbed me and our dog, and we hightailed it to the bathroom. Growing up, our house had huge windows and French doors on almost every wall, and even the bathroom had a window. We barely got to the bathroom and hid behind the shower stall (which had no bathtub and was the only non-windowed area in the house), clutching our dog and each other. We tried to stay away from the door while wind burst half the windows in the house, tore part of the roof off, etc."

    A stock image of a landspout forming in a field

    23. "A doctor didn't read my chart and gave me a large penicillin dose. Guess what I'm deadly allergic to?"


    24. "I had a massive heart attack, and was 'dead' for four and a half minutes. I woke up on a ventilator two days later. Ironically, this happened on my deceased brother's birthday, and I now have a second birthday to share with him!"


    25. "I had a postpartum infection that came on so quickly that I didn’t even recognize the warning signs. You would think that a life-threatening infection would be the most traumatic aspect, but it was actually the medical professionals' treatment of me. FYI, something not to say to a new mother with a 10-day-old baby in her arms is, 'You’re not going to be a very good mother when you’re dead.'"


    26. "I used to go to one of those after-school places for a few years when I was about 6, and it was based out of this woman’s actual house. She had a radio outside where all of us were playing in the pool before she brought us lunch, and then she set up a VHS of Cinderella. I was having no part in that and carried on swimming, although I was the only one and no one was supervising me. I decided to swim the entire length of the pool, which is huge for a 6-year-old. All went swimmingly until I got halfway there, and a killer cramp struck me hard, and I couldn’t even tread water to keep my head up. I slowly started sputtering and going under. "

    A stock image of a metal ladder leading into a swimming pool

    27. "One morning when I was a kid, I had a hankering for a Pop-Tart. I threw that sucker in the toaster and pulled down the little handle. I was beginning to get impatient and realized I didn’t actually know how long to cook a Pop-Tart, so I decided that I should touch it and check. I went to a nearby drawer and got out a butter knife, and then stuck it straight into the toaster to feel how squishy the Pop-Tart felt. I didn’t touch any metal parts; in fact a portion of my mind made sure not to do such, but I just couldn’t remember why. It wasn’t until I got the knife out that I realized how goddamn stupid I was."


    28. "I'm allergic to bees, which I didn't know until I was stung by one, and my arm looked like it was going to pop. My eyes got itchy and started leaking this gross yellow gunk, my ears bled from the swelling, and I felt my throat closing up. The lady at the fire station saved my life with that EpiPen because I wasn't going to make it to the hospital."

    "I was 16 and driving with my mom and my friend, and my mom had me pull over when she noticed the blood coming out my ear. I hate being allergic because I think bees are awesome. Plus being a house owner, I know I'm going to probably get stung fixing a gutter or something."


    29. "I almost choked to death on a fork full of ramen noodles in my dorm room. I was alone and couldn’t breathe for a good 10 seconds. It was terrifying, but afterward, when I had swallowed enough to breathe and recover, I thought, 'I almost just died because of ramen noodles, Jesus Christ.'"

    A stock image of an overhead view of ramen noodles in a cup with some noodles on a fork

    30. "I was a young teen (13 or 14 years old at most) when I stayed the night at my friend's, who lived on a farm. In the morning, I went and got a bowl of cereal and was going to watch cartoons and plopped down next to my friend on the couch. The guard dog, whose job was to kill coyotes attacking the livestock, thought that I was a threat to my friend and attacked, going for my throat. The only thing that saved me was the big down jacket that I was wearing because it was -30 degrees outside. That dog clamped down on my raised arm and tossed me around like a rag doll. Thankfully, all I have are two small puncture marks where the dog got through my 'armor,' but I am terrified of dogs to this day."


    31. "I was having my first asthma attack when I was a toddler, and the doctor in the ER sent me home because he thought that it was just a cold, and I had no asthma diagnosis yet. My parents took me back a few hours later, and the new doctors said that if they’d waited 30 minutes more, I would have suffocated to death."


    32. "I got carbon monoxide poisoning as a kid. We were at a remote fishing cabin with propane-powered appliances, and when the temperature dropped at night, we closed the windows. My dad and his buddy woke up with a headache and nausea, but they assumed that it was a hangover from drinking the night before. They went fishing and let the rest of us sleep. Luckily, one of the other adults stayed back, realized what was happening a few hours later, and got us kids out of the cabin. I made it a few feet out of the door before passing out and had a headache and terrible nausea after I came to. I was lucky to get out in time with no lasting damage."


    33. "When I was a firefighter, I was acting as a 'firefighter down' during a live burn training. I lit the fire on the first floor and proceeded up to the top of the stairs and laid down to get my PASS alarm to go off. After a few minutes, the window above me opened, and it was my rescue team! The team decided to carry me down the stairs and out of the front door. When we got to the bottom of the steps, my low air bell went off but then stopped. I thought, That's odd — it should keep going until it runs out of air... Oh."

    A stock image of a room with a chair on fire

    34. "I was run over when I was 4 years old. I don't remember anything; all I know is if I didn't beg my mom to let me ride with my cousin on her bike to the shop, 'I would've been fine.' I can still see all the scars that that accident left on me, and my mom told me that I didn't look like myself when she saw me all covered in blood. They treated me at home, but I think that they took me to the hospital for medicine and that stuff. Twenty-one years forward, I am thankful for the only broken bone I have from the accident, my rib, which I found out had been broken when I was in high school. You can only feel the upper part of my left rib, and the other half? It's gone. Obviously, I suspect that it's because of that accident, and I haven't been to the doctor for over six years, but I'm curious to have some Xrays done and see my broken rib."


    35. "I told my anesthesiologist that I was sensitive to anesthesia. He didn't believe me, and I OD'd. I had a near-death experience and everything. I was nursing my child still and woke up empty after chest compressions. He got what he deserved."


    36. "My next-door neighbor came to my door two days ago after she saw my husband leave and told her dog to attack my kids and myself. Luckily, her dog just stood there, but when I tried to close the door on her, she attempted to push past me and into my home. I was able to overpower her, lock the door, and call the police. She has an extensive criminal record of break-ins and assault and has serious mental health and drug problems. I don't want to think about what could have happened if she was able to overpower me, but now I have a peace order in place, and charges have been brought against her."


    37. "An ocean wave threw me against a rock while surfing, which broke nine ribs and punctured a lung. Fortunately, I was able to get in a helicopter and be serviced by world-class doctors within the hour, or I would have died from fluid in the lungs."

    A stock image of waves splashing against rocks

    38. "I got 200 stitches in my face because my cousin ran over my face with a snowboard. I had a weird out-of-body experience, then woke up in a pool of my own blood and my cousin crying saying, 'I killed him.' The doctor said the cut above my eyebrow was a millimeter from severing my optic nerve and that I'm lucky my neck, jaw, cheek, and orbit weren’t broken. This happened in the eighth grade, and I remember it like it was yesterday."


    39. "I accidentally ingested alkaline acid from an improperly cleaned beer line after ordering a Guinness at a bar. My throat swelled shut as it burned my internal organs and I started puking blood. A friend threw me in his car and took me to the nearest hospital, which luckily was only a half-mile away. They intubated me, and I woke up a couple of days later in a hospital on the other side of the state that I was life-flighted to. I still have health problems three years later from the incident."


    40. "I was going Christmas caroling after dark with friends to the house of some people that we knew. They didn’t have a front or back yard; it was all just one yard. Upon arriving, one friend suggested the bright idea that we knock on the back door because they generally use that door anyway. On the way to the door, the same friend sees the light in the workshop, so he goes to see if the dad was in there. He wasn’t, so we gather around the back door. We can see that the lights are off, but we can see the dad inside, pointing a gun at us. Yikes. We start singing, and that cleared everything up. It turns out their daughter saw our car pull up and all five of us pile out and head to the back, not realizing that she knew us."


    41. "We were dry camping in the wilderness, and our camping spot happened to be by a drop-off rock quarry, where my younger sister and I hung out for the majority of the trip. On the second or third day, we were hanging out by the drop-off, and I kicked a bottle to see how far it would fall. It fell a pretty good 30 feet down the hill before stopping at a small pine tree. My sister instantly had the idea of seeing how far a 12-year-old kid can fall down the hill, and she pushed me."

    "I fell a good 7 feet on my face, scratched and cut myself up on the jagged rocks, before I hit a rock and blacked out for a good 30 seconds. I woke up to my sister apologizing at the top of the drop-off, screaming and crying from what she realized that she had done. I went to scream out in pain, but my chest had landed on a rock that could have punctured a lung but had luckily just severely knocked the wind out of me. I had already fractured my elbow weeks before, and this incident made it worse, but thankfully, I lived through it. I don't blame my sister; she was 6, and I highly doubt that she had malicious intent but more or less wrongful curiosity. I do love telling this story to embarrass her, not to make her feel like shit, but everyone has a good laugh somewhat, including her."


    42. "I had a freak heart attack at 30 years old on my wedding day. No one could figure out what was wrong for hours until we did an angiogram procedure, where they saw that one of the arteries in my heart had torn. I tore it pulling a boot on too forcefully. Go figure!"


    43. "I was rock climbing, probably 50 feet in the air at the top of the cliff. I was the last person to climb the route, so I was cleaning off the gear to repel down, which involves clipping yourself to the anchor bolts, untying, passing the rope through the anchors, and then retying yourself onto the rope. Well, I fucked it up. I made an absolute boneheaded error that bypassed my belay device and had me hanging by the leg of my harness on a non-weight-bearing gear loop. I honestly have no idea what I did, and I have no idea how I got down."

    A stock image of a person climbing up the face of a rock

    44. "I was almost blown up in the Oklahoma City bombing. I had been just across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah building and had just left when the bomb went off."


    45. "I was born with a long list of issues that meant I had a number of surgeries as a baby, one of which had the delightful side effect where I would stop breathing at random moments. The first time that it happened, I was strapped into my car seat while my parents sat in rush-hour traffic. My mom heard a voice in her ear, male and clear as day, that told her to 'check the baby.' I was a ragdoll and blue when she turned. Neither my dad nor half-brother had spoken or heard the voice. My mom did CPR, while Dad broke every road law in the book to get me to the nearest hospital. I had to be connected to a monitor for a few weeks until the cause was discovered and surgery could be done. But that first incident... I shouldn't be here."


    46. "Right after I gave birth (via C-section) to my son, I told the doctors that something wasn't right. They kept brushing me off, even after my incision completely opened. I had sepsis. My incision had opened down the last layer before my organs. Had I not been so overwhelmed by pain that I went to an ER, I probably wouldn't be here today."


    47. "My evil (ex) stepfather decided to hold me up against a wall and off the ground when I was 11 or 12 by my throat. I genuinely thought that I was going to die as his response to me saying, 'I can’t breathe,' was, 'Good.'"


    48. "I went out west with a few friends for a couple of days, and we were all drinking a lot and going out into the town. I was pretty drunk on the second night when I locked eyes with a 70cl of vodka. As I said, I was pretty drunk already, so I hardly tasted it and killed it in under an hour. Needless to say, I woke up in the hospital. My tolerance for alcohol hasn’t recovered to this day, a year and a half later."


    49. "I went hang gliding in New Zealand, and as we were preparing to take off, the pilots casually mentioned that the winds were changing and we had to take off immediately. I was the last in line. My wife went just before me and had a peaceful, beautiful flight that was an almost spiritual experience. My flight, on the other hand, started well but two minutes into it; a gust of wind flipped us upside down and proceeded to throw us around like rag dolls for what felt like an eternity while the pilot was desperately trying to land. There’s video footage from a GoPro facing us mounted on the front of the glider, and there’s six epic minutes of me hyperventilating and a frightened pilot trying to look calm and failing."

    A stock image of a hang glider flying

    Have you ever had a near-death experience? Let me know in the comments!